“A famous hotel in central Chamonix with beautiful rooms, a very cool spa and 2 Michelin stars in its restaurant”
Rooms in the main house are contemporary in style. You’ll find cowhide rugs on wooden floors, enormous beds smartly attired, perhaps a sofa in front of a woodburner or a balcony facing Mont Blanc in the bigger rooms. All have cute orange armchairs that swivel with grace, and several have white leather headboards. Stone bathrooms are exceptional - double sinks, separate showers, robes and slippers, fancy oils. Book a Luxury room and you'll get a Jacuzzi tub, too. Despite the modern style, there's always an antique in the room, usually a lovely piece of old wood, perhaps a chest or a cabinet. And although the spa is over at La Ferme, the sauna is in the main house, as is the main restaurant.
Big sprawling rooms in La Ferme have a luxurious mountain-lodge feel: wooden walls and ceilings, sofas and armchairs scattered about, massive beds wrapped in crisp white linen. All have Mont Blanc views from balconies or terraces, some with sunbeds outside to catch the mountain light, others with woodburners inside for cosy winter evenings. Bathrooms are beautiful, too - not quite as contemporary as in the main house, but lovely nonetheless, with double-ended Jacuzzi baths and separate power showers. If that’s not enough for you, there’s are 2 enormous apartments over 2 floors with a sunken Jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, a white leather sofa in the sitting room, a couple of balconies facing Mont Blanc and 2 further bedrooms (a double and a double/twin). There's also a smaller 2-bedroom apartment ideal for families of 4.
There are also 2 stylish chalets with logs piled high in their porches. Soli sleeps 2-6 and has its own sauna, Grepon is smaller but perfect for small families (sleeping 2-4). See full details here. Both chalets have fine bathrooms with robes for adults and children alike. You also get sheepskin throws, blonde wood furniture and umbrellas at the door. Wonderful stuff.
There are 2 restaurants at the hotel: Restaurant Albert 1er in the main house, which has 2 Michelin stars, and La Maison Carrier over in La Ferme, which serves bistro-style mountain food. Both serve breakfast from 7-11am (extra cost). It’s a help-yourself affair with plates of local charcuterie and cheese, delicious fruit salads and yoghurts, just-baked croissants and pains au chocolat, baguettes and homemade jams. Cooked dishes are available, but they are not cooked to order. Instead, you fish things out of heated trays - bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs. The trouble is they get cold, which rather defeats the point.
Lunch and dinner are of a different measure altogether.
Restaurant Albert 1er's wine cellar holds 19,000 bottles, which might explain why its wine-tasting lunches are so popular. Various menus are available, from a light lunch to a 9-course tasting menu in the evening. There’s an à la carte menu, too, where you might find risotto with white Alba truffle, half a lobster with grapefruit, roasted venison with Grand Veneur sauce, then a warm green Chartreuse soufflé with homemade Chartreuse ice cream. It’s amazing stuff, a great spot to splash out on special occasions.
La Maison Carrier serves tasty rustic food - perhaps a salad of autumnal vegetables with Beaufort cheese and beetroot chips, rack of lamb cooked over an open fire, and local plum fritters with milk ice cream. You eat in a beautiful room (a controlled explosion of wood) with a walk-in fireplace where you can lift your head and see the sky. During the ski season both restaurants are extremely popular with people staying in town, so booking ahead is essential.
If you fancy eating in town, there are lots of good restaurants to choose from. Atmosphere on Place Balmat is smart but informal, offers great Savoyard food and has a covered terrace that overlooks the river. You’ll get a good fondue at La Calèche. It’s full of character due to the rustic clutter that hangs from the ceilings, and is popular with skiers.
Children are very welcome, though this is an elegant hotel with 2 Michelin stars in its restaurant, so not the natural habitat of families.
Classic and Luxury Rooms can fit a baby cot; Luxury Rooms with Fireplaces and Prestige Rooms can fit a baby cot or extra bed. The apartments and chalets are best suited to families: the apartments have 2-3 bedrooms (each including a twin room). Chalet Soli has a double room, a double/twin room and 2 single beds on a mezzanine level; Chalet Grepon has a double room and a bunk room with 2 single bunkbeds.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The pool is not supervised